12Entering the Fall typically consists of many new beginnings. One in particular being returning to academia. On a normal school year, returning to school can be stressful, as students are usually focused on school supplies, clothing and making sure they signed up for the right classes. However, due to Covid-19, this school year seems a little different and has many people experiencing a different kind of anxiety. Faculty members are returning to work full-time with less space as more individuals enter the school building making it less easy to social-distance.

As some students opt out of in- person classes, and choose to exercise their option to virtual learning, many parents are finding ways to adjust and some may even struggle with finding ways to support their children through this process.

Again, this has caused many to experience increased stress and anxiety and finding ways to reduce that anxiety can assist us in having a successful school year. Though you may not be able to control the situation at hand entirely, you may be able to limit its control over you.

Here are a few ways in which you can reduce your stress over returning to school:

Follow Recommended guidelines set in place by the health department and your state. By now we have all heard the benefits of social-distancing, hand washing, and staying home if you feel sick. As new discoveries are being made regarding Covid-19, many updates and recommendations will follow. It may be helpful to continue to keep up with any updated information to assist you in making the safest decisions for yourself and those around you.

Take it one day at a time. Although change can be difficult for some, it is inevitable. Not having answers can be a bit confusing, but taking things slowly, while making safe and wise decisions can assist you in reducing any fear of what has yet to come.

Offer support to others. Often times we find ourselves caught up in our own struggles, which keeps us isolated and uncertain. Lending a hand to others in these times of need not only helps you get the focus off your own anxiety, but it is also provides proof that that you are not alone and we are all in this together.

Talk to someone, sharing your experience with a friend, a partner, or even a counselor can help you to process your experience in a healthier manner.

By, Ashley R. Vazquez, MBA, MA, EAP Counselor